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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Midland in Midland County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Texas Petroleum in World War II

 
 
Texas Petroleum in World War II Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, July 12, 2015
1. Texas Petroleum in World War II Marker
Inscription. The growing west Texas petroleum industry found itself destined to play a significant role during World War II. By the late 1930s an intrastate pipeline system moved crude oil east to refineries and shipping points. In 1940, Texas produced almost 37% of the domestic oil in the United States and was the largest producer of natural gas in the nation. When the U.S. entered World War II in December 1941, west Texas reserves and the construction of new pipelines in the eastern portion of the state placed Texas in the pivotal position of supplying a large share of U.S. energy during the war.

After the U.S. entered the war, German submarines moved into coastal waters along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico and shipping suffered. Therefore, one of the first major duties of the Petroleum Industry Council for National Defense (created in Nov. 1941 and later renamed the Petroleum Industry War Council) was the safe transport of Texas oil to the U.S. east coast. Major disruptions in shipping in 1942 resulted in construction of a cross-country pipeline from Texas to the east known as the Big Inch (built to transport crude oil) and Little Big Inch (built to deliver refined oil byproducts).

World War II could not have been fought and won on a global scale without readily available petroleum supplies. In addition, the byproducts of
Texas Petroleum in World War II Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, July 12, 2015
2. Texas Petroleum in World War II Marker
Texas petroleum – gasoline and diesel fuel for trucks and tanks, lubricants for machinery and fuel oil for heating – proved equally essential to the war effort. Therefore, it can be said that the Texas petroleum industry, then the nation's largest producer of oil, was key to the Allied victory and the World War II experience presaged dramatic industry growth in west Texas after the war.
Texas in World War II – 2009
Marker is property of the State of Texas

 
Erected 2009 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 15180.)
 
Location. 31° 58.241′ N, 102° 4.98′ W. Marker is in Midland, Texas, in Midland County. Marker is on Interstate 20 0.6 miles west of Rankin Highway, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker faces parking lot at the Old Rankin Highway Visitor Center. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1406 West Interstate 20, Midland TX 79701, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Keystone No. 5 ½ Traction (approx. mile away); Star Spudder (approx. mile away); Wichtex 66 Spudder (approx. mile away); Forth Worth “Super D” Spudder
<i>rear of</i> Texas Petroleum in World War II Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, July 12, 2015
3. rear of Texas Petroleum in World War II Marker
Old Rankin Highway Visitor Center in background
(approx. mile away); National Portable Drilling Machines (approx. mile away); Wichtex 18 Spudder (approx. mile away); The Oil Patch (approx. mile away); W. F. Scarborough Home, 1908 (approx. 1.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Midland.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceWar, World II
 
Old Rankin Highway Visitor Center image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, July 12, 2015
4. Old Rankin Highway Visitor Center
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 4, 2015, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 210 times since then and 68 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 4, 2015, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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